Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken Review

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 18th, 2012
Format: ARC Copy
Buy the book on Amazon
496 pages

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have been cursed with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby has spent nearly half her life desperately trying to hide the fact that she’s outwitted the camp’s sorting system—that she isn’t powerless, or safe. She’s one of the dangerous ones… and everyone knows what happens to them.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of teens who escaped their own camp, pursued along the way by terrifying bounty hunters. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close to him. Not after what happened to her parents.
When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Before the end, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.


My Review:

The Darkest Minds was, without a doubt, one of the best books I have read in 2012!  After reading the synopsis, the book seemed like it would be good, but nothing special.  However, as soon as I began reading, I knew that this book would be absolutely extraordinary!  I was immediately swept into Ruby’s terrifying world and could not bear to put down the book for more than several minutes at a time.

One of my favorite parts of this book was how adeptly Bracken portrayed Ruby’s transformation.  After spending six years confined in Thurmond – one of the world’s most horrific rehabilitation camps for children with abilities, which specializes in keeping children in line so that the government does not have to worry about them becoming too dangerous – she emerges as a shy little girl who barely utters even a word to defend herself.  However, she quickly develops when she escapes Thurmond, trying to find her way to the safe haven at East River without getting captured by those who want to make money by selling her back to camp, those who want to kill her, or those who want to use her powers to fight against the government; it is at this time that she begins acting more like a girl of sixteen rather than ten, the age she was when she was first admitted into the camp after a terrible accident that her abilities inflicted upon her parents.  Not only does she act more mature, but she also grows into a powerful young woman who is not in the least bit afraid to take dangerous risks to save those she loves.  While she is frightened of her unique ability in the beginning of the novel, she slowly learns to embrace her powers, becoming more confident as she discovers that her powers do not have to be used for evil, but can also be used to save herself and her friends.

Another great part of this book was Ruby and Liam’s relationship.  Liam is a natural born leader who cannot help but take complete responsibility for everyone he puts under his wing, which, in this terrifying world where most children are either sent to camps or killed, usually leaves him full of unnecessary guilt.  When Ruby joins his band of outlaws – which includes Liam, his best friend Chubs, little Suzume, and their car, Black Betty – he immediately accepts her for all that she is.  When Ruby finally reveals that her abilities are much more dangerous than she had first said, he is not frightened or wary of her in the least.  Instead, he treats her the same as he did before he found out; he acts as if her powers are no big deal, which increases Ruby’s self-confidence greatly.  Their relationship develops slowly throughout the book, mostly due to the fact that Ruby pushes people away from her, afraid that her spontaneous powers may cause them harm.  However, the meticulous development of their relationship only makes it that much more exciting when they finally get together!

By the end of the book, Ruby is forced to make a terrible decision to save the lives of her friends.  I was so sad when I read the ending!  Even though I knew she would undoubtedly make the right choice no matter how hard it was, because that’s the kind of person she is, I was secretly hoping that there would be a way to end the book without her being forced to alienate those she loved.  In the hopes of not giving away any spoilers, all I can say is that I seriously need to find out the consequences of her choice at the end of the book and I hope that her relationship with Liam can survive this major road block.  I cannot wait for the sequel to come out and I very highly recommend that anyone and everyone read this book when it comes out in December!  I promise that you will love it!

My Rating:


  1. I have an ARC of this that I plan to read very soon! I've heard such great things about it, thanks for the review!

  2. I can't wait to read The Darkest Minds, it sounds like something I would enjoy. I love that there is good character development in the book, I think that's really important. I'm glad you loved it, and I hope I'll do too!

  3. Wow, 5 stars?! *runs to pick up my ARC* Thanks for the awesome review. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  4. I so hope that the next book brings a bit of happiness after the tough choice she made.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  5. I couldn't put it down! Fast paced and so interesting and different, I read it in one sitting. I'm on to the next book right away!
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